Town Theatre

642 Bridge Street NW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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Opened as the Alcazar Theatre by 1916, it became the Roosevelt Theatre in 1935 and in 1940 renamed the Town Theatre. Seating was listed at 490. This was an Independent until 1950 with bookings being handled by Independent Theatre Exhibitor Services. In 1950 it became part of the Clark Theatre Chain until it closed.

The Town Theatre closed in 1955 and is today used by an evangelical group. Any further information on the Town Theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

dbmkam6892
dbmkam6892 on July 14, 2011 at 12:40 am

Hello. I was born in 1949 and grew up on the West Side, namely Bridge St., Stocking St., 4th St., & 3rd St.. I frequented the old Town Theater for .25 cents a show. The picture posted is not that of the old Town Theater. I believe this photo is of buildings ACROSS the street from the Town Theater (presently Little Mexico is attached to that building in photo). The block the Town Theater was on is on the South side, and though business have come and gone, the building was never tore down. I drive by that block at least once a month if not weekly.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 14, 2011 at 6:41 am

The previous comment is correct. The Town Theatre building is still standing. Its current occupant is a religious institution (possibly a church— the Internet isn’t saying) called the Jesus Evangelistic Center.

Pivot Street View 180 degrees for a view of the building.

There was an Alcazar Theatre in Grand Rapids as early as 1918, when it was mentioned in the February 26 issue of Michigan Film Review. I don’t know if it was this theater or an earlier house of the same name, but the style of the theater’s building was certainly in vogue during the late 1910s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2011 at 5:36 am

The Alcazar Theatre is listed at 642 Bridge Street in the 1916 edition of Polk’s Grand Rapids City Directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2012 at 4:02 am

A brief biography of Edward N. Brown says that he was the partner of George Budde in the opening of the Alcazar Theatre. Brown sold his interest in the project to Budde after about eight months, and then built the Fulton Theatre. In 1916, he opened the Stocking Avenue Theatre. The biography doesn’t give dates for the opening of the Alcazar or the Fulton, but as Brown operated the Fulton for four years, the Alcazar could have been opened as early as 1911, and was probably in operation within a year or two of that at most.

Whit1
Whit1 on September 21, 2013 at 1:22 am

The comments above about the photo are correct. You have to maneuver the photo west down Bridge St. past Konkle’s Bar and get it looking south to see what has become of the Town Theater. I saw my first Frankenstein movie at the Town back in the 1950s.

Otherlyn
Otherlyn on September 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I do remember The Town. The photo shown above is indeed one of where the therater had it’s incarnation as a neighborhood movie house. We ALL went ther on Saturday afternoons, to watch their double features. The lady, who’s husband owner the place had a very bushy mustache, that she kept neatly trimmed. Her husband wouyld often stop the show, to stalk down the asiles in a rant, effort to get us kids to keep quiet. Speaking of WestSide neighborhood theaters. I have been searching, without much success, for photos of an old theater that was closed prior to 1952. It was called The State Theater, and it was located on the NorthWest corner of Stocking and Second Street, in Grand Rapids MI. I used to live on Stocking, and remember looking throught the sctatches on the black paint that they used to block out the door-windows, to see inside of of the closed building. It may be possible that it was never used for movies, before it was closed. Perhaps it was strictly Vaudeville, or Theatre. Also, there is one errant photo of The Clique Bowling Lanes building, with someone saying that tTHAT building was the old State. That statement is not true. I for remember the buildings and store-fronts that occupied the space that was demoloished to build the Clique. The State was indeed a building on the corner of Second and Stocking. Does ANYONE have any photos of this long forgotten venue?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 25, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Otherlyn, Cinema Treasures has a page for the State Theatre: Click here.

There are no pictures of the State there, though- only a Google Street View of the bowling alley you say was not the State, and a link to page with another photo of the bowling alley.

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